Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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Mediocre Games That Are Worth Checking Out At Least Once

In the long list of games that come out each and every year, there is always a handful that are gems and are held as masterpieces, while the rest simply get coined as bad, forgettable, or “trash.” In the age of the internet, especially, everything that gets a score below eight is automatically coined as being bad, which is a shame. I mean, not everything is a ten, sure, but 8 or 7 or even six being bad is kind of harsh and untrue, don’t you think? I have a list of a handful of games today for you guys that feature a whole bunch of games that aren’t great but are worth checking out at least once. Keep in mind that despite me having a lot of fun personally playing and beating a whole bunch of them, I in no way am recommending you to run out and give these games a whirl right now. The whole point of this list is to showcase a few games that weren’t great but had some redeeming qualities to them that made them worth playing at least once. I only ask my readers to have an open mind about these and not jump into conclusions based on some preconceived notion or the fact that the internet went crazy over these games when they came out. Make your own judgment if you so choose before judging them too harshly. Let’s list these games now!


RAGE 2

The first game on our list here is “RAGE 2,” which was developed by iD Software in collaboration with Avalanche Game Studios. The first “RAGE” was once again an average game that had its moments here and there, so it only made sense to give this IP another chance, and unfortunately, they missed the mark once again. The game world, the story, the characters, the visuals, and everything in between were all absolutely average at best, but there was one redeeming quality. The gunplay. This game is practically an open-world “DOOM,” and that alone makes this game worth playing. The action here is fast, chaotic, and brutal, and my lord, it just connects. It doesn’t matter how laborious, mundane, repetitive, and even generic the rest of the game is; the gunplay here is its saving grace, and it makes all the difference. If you have played any iD Software games before, then you’ll know where I am coming from and what I am talking about. “RAGE 2,” for that matter, is a weird stepchild that redeems the best qualities of both of its parents and yet somehow remains very uninteresting and fails to establish its own identity. “RAGE 2” is fun at times but is overall just alright, and if you have the time or the curiosity, check it out someday.


Just Cause 4

From one game developed by Avalanche to another, “Just Cause 4”, if you couldn’t tell, is the fourth entry in the “Just Cause” series. The one and only question that comes to mind when I think about “Just Cause 4” is, “what went wrong?” “Just Cause 2” was good, and “Just Cause 3” was just fantastic and the best in the series, so it’s only natural to expect that “Just Cause 4” would be even better. Unfortunately no. For some reason, they ripped out everything that made “Just Cause 3” a great game and gave us the shell of what was. Despite all of that, the saving grace of “Just Cause 4” is the humongous map you get to explore and cause chaos alongside the crazy extreme weather effects like tornados, thunderstorms, blizzards, and sandstorms. All of this is not very in-depth and is somewhat of a novelty, but one must consider that there is no other game like this in the series. It’s unfortunate that the fourth game here is somewhat featureless and gutted when compared to its predecessors, but at the same time, there is chaotic fun to be had here, and for a series that is known for that, your price of admission is somewhat worth it even if you don’t have to rush out to get it.


Crackdown 3

Now we have “Crackdown 3,” which I’ll be honest and say that I enjoyed a lot. The problem with “Crackdown 3” is quite simple: Microsoft hyped it to death, the game took forever to come out, and the end product was just generic in every sense of the word. The world, the gameplay, the graphics, and everything else on offer here is extremely simple, outdated, and, as I said, generic. Despite all of that, “Crackdown 3” is stupid fun, especially if you play it with a friend in co-op, as double the people mean double the chaos. The “Crackdown” series as a whole has always been a simple superhero style of game where all you do is blow stuff up and defy gravity by jumping as high as multiple stories in the air, all the while liberating the city by spreading your own brand of justice, and all of that is present here in “Crackdown 3” with nothing new added or reiterated. The series never quite broke the mold and met up with the standards that the first game set, but I digress. I had a blast playing “Crackdown 3,” and I am sure you will too if you check it out with an open mind.


Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint

Let’s face it, “Ghost Recon: Wildlands” was a surprise that no one saw coming, and it was a damn good one at that. To follow the standard that the game left behind was a tall order, and unfortunately, “Ghost Recon: Breakpoint” failed in doing so. On its own, “Ghost Recon: Breakpoint” has nothing bad in particular that can be pointed out, as it’s extremely identical to “Wildlands,” which should be a good thing but then again, it doesn’t feel as nice as it for some reason. Add onto that the unnecessary always-online requirement, the ability to not have AI companions by your side at launch, and other bugs and glitches alongside an unnecessarily large and lifeless world made this game look worse than it actually was. Despite all of that, you should check out “Ghost Recon: Breakpoint” for its moment-to-moment gameplay, as that is the holy grail that remains unscathed. The idea of being behind enemy lines, hiding in plain sight, and picking off your enemies from the shadows is just a badass concept that is executed very well in the gameplay department. Single-shot headshot kills, tactical infiltration, and stealth gameplay combined with elements like mortal injuries, camouflaging yourself into the environment to avoid enemy patrols, and of course, the ability to play with your friends is what makes “Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint” a decent enough game to try when you feel like it.


Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction

Another Tom Clancy game and a more recent one. Now, this one is a doozy as it imitates and takes place in the same universe as “Rainbow Six Siege,” all the while, the game couldn’t have done anything more to disassociate itself further from the realism (somewhat) that this IP is known for. Here in “Extraction,” you play as the operators from “Rainbow Six: Siege” in teams of three is, and I kid you not, infiltrate areas and kill aliens that have invaded the Earth (oversimplification as it’s a bit more complicated). Tom Clancy would be rolling in his grave, I am sure. The visuals are alright, and the lore and story are below average, but the game is still worth checking out for, once again, its moment-to-moment gameplay. The game is exactly like “Rainbow Six: Siege,” minus the multiplayer, obviously. “SIege” cemented its identity as the best tactical multiplayer shooter in the market, and rightfully so, and while “Extraction” touted itself as the best in the department of cooperative shooters, it didn’t quite meet the mark in all honesty. I had fun here as well, as I spent the first few days of this game’s release playing with my friends, but ever since my completion, I don’t have a single reason to return to it. The shooting mechanics are great here, and if you have never played “Siege,” then feel free to check this one out as that game has a steep learning curve, and this can prepare you for the real action that “Siege” provides in spades. I’d say it’s the same as “Breakpoint” in that it’s a decent game to play with friends, so feel free to give it a try if you feel like it.


Marvel’s Avengers

I’ll be honest and say that I am putting this here out of pure pity as this game is slated to shut down in September, and in reality, this game deserves to die (which is harsh, I know, but there’s no better way to put it). How someone can mess up an Avengers game, the hottest property on the planet for the past few years, is beyond me, but then again, leave it to Square Enix. The game successfully dug its own grave when they announced those two words that almost every gamer hates: live service. Instead of making a long and decent single-player campaign, Square Enix decided that it’d be best to make this game a looter and turn it into their own cash cow, as anything “Avengers” is bound to sell like hotcakes. Credit where credit is due, Crystal Dynamics, the developers, did an amazing job in creating the movements of the beloved characters, as each feels unique to play, and as you upgrade them, you’ll get to live your own Avengers fantasy, all thanks to a decent combat system. Dive into the combat a bit and you can see that Crystal Dynamics had a vision and loved these characters and wanted to do something special with them but once again, leave it to the corporate to ruin everything right? You should absolutely stay away from this game, is what I’d be saying if it weren’t already dead, and since it’ll finally be put to rest this September, consider picking it up when they’ll, without a doubt sell it for $5 or even lower for the sake of posterity before it disappears forever. To experience just how good and unique the combat system here is. Oh! And they have made every single cosmetic item from the store available for free, so that’s a bonus as well.


Mafia 3

A great game in an amazing franchise marred by generic and repetitive gameplay and tons of bugs is what makes the story of “Mafia 3” all the more tragic. There was so much potential here, so many possibilities, and yet they all went in vain thanks to a lack of innovation and creativity. Hangar 13 tried; it’s evident and visible, and yet somehow, they missed the mark here, which is extremely sad. Despite its generic nature, “Mafia 3” is worth playing because the game tells an incredible story with a great cast of characters, and the world of New Bordeaux, which is inspired by New Orleans, is a sight to behold. The rest, however, is very questionable. This is the one, and only game on the list that I’d say you should definitely check out, as what’s good here is done masterfully, and the game’s biggest flaw is its repetition combined with somewhat poor gameplay, but if you can endure through it, you’ll play a memorable story and explore a world that you will remember for years to come. Here’s hoping that they learn from their mistakes and make “Mafia 4,” a game that the industry and the community will talk about for years to come upon its release, whenever that may be.


Outriders

“Outriders” is a weird one because, on the surface, the game is fantastic and delivers on all its promises, but the deeper you look, the more holes start appearing, and oddly enough, the game’s worst enemies end up being its developers. The game is made by People Can Fly, and it’s a third-person looter shooter, which is not a live service game and has a full story campaign and yet at the same time has an endgame and an expansion that followed. The story is not good, to put it simply, but hey, it’s there. The world (levels) and the visuals are average, and the game is alright. What makes it all worth playing is the building, crafting, and diversity at your disposal here. All the classes available here are fun to mess around with, and if you invest in them, you’ll see just how overpowered they can get and how crazy and fun the game becomes. Another thing to commend here is how the game handles progression with difficulty scaling, which is innovative and a fantastic way to incentivize you to keep pushing forward and get good loot around every corner. As I mentioned, there’s nothing wrong with “Outriders” on its own other than the fact that it’s all just very average (minus build crafting). The game was very successful at launch but died down just as quickly, which is a shame as there’s potential here. Feel free to give it a whirl with your friends if you ever feel like it, as there’s a joy to be had here.


Blair Witch

Let’s end on a horror game and that to a game I am sure no one saw coming. “Blair Witch” comes to us from Bloober Team, and while the prospect of having a Blair Witch game is exciting, the game falls short on multiple levels. A lot of people take issue with the games that Bloober Team makes, but I feel like this is one of the only studios left that understands what makes a horror game worth playing and yet, at the same time, is unable to deliver 100%. The game does one thing right, and I commend it for it; if you think about it, that’s the only thing a horror game needs to be successful, but “Blair Witch” proves that theory wrong at the same time as well. The game nails the atmosphere. I was terrified walking through the woods in this game, and I am the kind of person who would spend a night alone inside a haunted mansion. The spooky ambiance, the feeling of always being watched, the crazy ambient noises, and the minimal reliance on jumpscares are what make this game worth checking out for me, as the rest pretty much falls flat. The story is weird, the gameplay, well, it’s a glorified horror walking simulator, and there’s a sense of scripting here (which makes sense but then again) that feels highly restrictive and is unpleasant, to say the least. If you are a fan of horror games, then this short walk through the woods is one you can take in your own time; you are sure to get a mild kick out of it.


Final Thoughts

As I mentioned in the beginning, these games are not the best, but at the same time, they have one or two redeeming qualities that make them worth checking out if and when you feel like it. I personally hold a few games here in much higher regard than the internet and the general fanbase does, and I’d recommend them in a heartbeat, but I tried to be as objective here as I could. Besides, that’s the best part of having your own opinion about something, right? There are people out there who are bound to love a terrible game and hate an amazing game, all of which is fair; it’s their perspective. These have been some of the games that came to mind that, despite being just okay, are worth checking out with an open mind at least once. Do you have a list like this of your own? Do you agree with some of our picks? I am sure there are more games like these that we can compile into another list like this sometime in the future, hopefully. Until then, feel free to check out all the other lists and other types of articles we have here on our website.


See more: Games That Deserve Remakes Or Remasters, Explained In Depth


Kartik Sharma
Kartik Sharma
Kartik is sometimes a freelance content writer and an actor. He loves spending his time reading books, playing videogames, dabbling in music, exploring different cultures and languages, etc. loves everything that is art and loves to explore new horizons.